Self-discipline is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “the ability to control ones feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses.”
I was born in 1985 and I think I am part of a generation that has lacked being disciplined as children.
We are part of the freedom of speech, women’s rights, gay marriage, Obama for president era. This is all fantastic and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Our parents have also bred a generation of children that have been raised to believe they can be anything and everything they want to be. This is also great. I plan on teaching my children the same thing.
However, a friend said to me the other night, “we are a generation raised by women” and I think this also rings some truth and would help explain some things.
What has been lacking in our era is the lesson of consequences – regular disciplinary reminders.
If you choose to take path A, there will be a consequence for your action that you may or may not be prepared for.
Sometimes the lessons come hard. Sometimes they come easy and are only exciting.
The latter being the hopeful outcome but often the best lessons can be learnt from the former so shouldn’t be feared.
What I see a lot with startups and small businesses is people completely loosing confidence in themselves after their first big knock down.
If you are roughly my age (many startup founders and employees are), you may have simply missed the boat with disciplinary lessons from your parent/s too.
Maybe you are or maybe you aren’t my age. It doesn’t really matter as I am not trying to find a reason or person/s to blame and you shouldn’t either.
At the end of the day, you need to teach yourself to be self-disciplined. You need to learn you can get back up and realise you still have what it takes, you just need to pivot the business model.
I think self-discipline is a skill and like any other – it can be learned and practised.
If you do practise it, it will become a fundamental asset to both your personal and business life as they both stem from you.
As Richard Branson says “I don’t think of work as work and play as play. It’s all living.”
Tell me – how do you attempt to control your feelings and overcome your weaknesses?
How do you think your business would go if you practiced this more?